Centenary and Triangulation
Last night’s game was a real slog, a match that surpassed the hundred move mark to really challenge the brain. Playing white and up against the Sicilian (an opening I have to say I love to play and so feel comfortable enough facing) my knight was attacked on c3 by his bishop and with the e5 push my opponent chose the Pelikan. I play Nb3 but apparently Nb5 would have been better; no matter.
Anyway, I digress. My match was against a 1996, a hundred grade points above me and someone I’ve found a challenge in the past. He’s a tricky and aggressive player, a style similar to mine in that he plays for tactical, uneven positions. Granted I don’t necessarily like these types of games, I just tend to play them (where’s the logic in that!?!). With a few early exchanges and his swap of a bishop for my knight resulting in doubled pawns, it was down to me to gain advantage from the middle game. Sadly, this wasn’t to be and soon I was on the back foot a pawn down and holding for the drawn ending.
But it was a draw, draw I would have been very happy with. The rook, bishop and pawn ending saw him one point up but my king was nicely placed, my rook hindered his king and soon the bishops were exchanged to equalise further. It was heading for a dead end position that would result in a few grading points and satisfaction to end a two and a half hour game (yes that a long time for me even though its quick for some) that was approaching the hundred move mark. The game would cross its centenary age and I would come away with at least something of a reward.
And then I forgot triangulation.
And, brain quickly zipping through the combinations, I thought I had him with:
How wrong you can be. Triangulation is a clever trick. In the sequence above white win the pawn as black is forced to move away from his. There’s no way out of it. One of the tools of chess is that your opponent has to move and so this can influence the sequence. However, in this position what if black does not play Ke2 on the first move. What if he pays another king move first?
With this e1 move slipped in, rather than the an e2 straight away, white’s Kg3 allows black to take the forcing position with his Ke2 and now it is white that is forced to move away from the pawn. Sigh. Ah well, we live and learn – something I will certainly remember next time.
Incidentally, I’ve just found a nice article on the Pelikan opening by MikeRoesell: https://www.chess.com/article/view/the-sicilian-pelikan-a-blast-from-the-past-ii2